Indonesia: New Anti-Terrorism Agency Established

On July 30, 2010, it was reported that the Indonesian government had issued a regulation formalizing the establishment of a new National Anti-Terrorism Agency.

Presidential Regulation No. 46 of 2010 was made under the 2003 Anti-Terrorism Law (Law No. 15 of 2003) and tasks the new agency with “formulating policies/national programs, coordinating government offices concerned with regard to its implementation and implementing policies in the field of anti-terrorism by set up [sic] taskforces with members from government offices in line with their respective tasks, functions, authorities.” )

The agency will be responsible to the President of Indonesia, but coordination responsibilities will sit with the Coordinating Minister for Security, Political and Legal Affairs. (Id.) The regulation places existing anti-terrorism units under one authority, including the National Police’s Anti-Terror Squad (known as Detachment 88), the National Intelligence Agency, anti-terrorism units from the Indonesian military, as well as the Anti-Terrorism Desk currently operating under the Office of the Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs.

A spokesman from the Minister’s office said that it was hoped that the structure and staffing of the agency would be settled by the end of the year and that “[w]e will equip all units with personnel from various fields who possess the specific skills to perform the tasks required.”

Some human rights activists have raised concerns about aspects of the new agency, saying that the regulation should be clearer about what constitutes a “radical” group or individual and about the extent to which the military will be involved in enforcing anti-terrorism laws.

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